Gay Peer Crowds Questionnaire

Gay Peer Crowds Questionnaire

BETTY S. LAI,University of Miami

BRIAN L. B. WILLOUGHBYMassachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

NATHAN D. DOTYChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia

NEENA M. MALIKUniversity of Miami Miller School of Medicine

The Gay Peer Crowds Questionnaire (GPCQ) assesses self-identified gay men’s affiliations with distinct sub- groups that may exist within the larger gay community. Peer crowds of interest include Activist, Artsy, Bear, Circuit Partier, Drag Queen, Goth, Granola, Leather Men, Muscle Boy, Professional, Suburban, and Twink. Men are asked to give their opinions on whether these crowds exist, rate their identification with each crowd, and indicate their primary affiliation. Additional information, such as the reputation and attractiveness of each crowd, is also assessed.

Description

The GPCQ is a 23-item self-report measure. The format of the GPCQ is based upon the Peer Crowds Questionnaire, a measure of adolescents’ peer crowd affiliations (La Greca, Prinstein, & Fetter, 2001; Mackey & La Greca, 2006). To examine the existence of gay peer crowds, respondents are provided with descriptions of 12 key peer crowds and asked whether they believe that each group exists. For example, men are asked, “Is there a group of gay men who are boyish-looking, with a slim or athletic figure and little body hair (‘Bois/Twinks’)?” Response options include YesNo, and Unsure. Respondents are also asked to pro- vide other common names for each crowd and asked to list other adult gay peer crowds in an open-ended format (i.e., “What other adult gay peer crowds may exist?”).

To examine the degree of identification with gay peer crowds, respondents are then asked to rate the degree to which they identify with 12 peer crowds on a 5-point Likert- type scale (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very Much). In addition, participants are asked, “Which one of these groups, if any, do you identify with?” Participants are also asked how other groups view the individual’s peer crowd on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = Very Disliked, 5 = Very Liked), whether others who are not in the group are able to identify the group (Yes or No), and whether there are symbols, behaviors, or values associated with the group (Yes or No). Affiliation with gay peer crowds is measured through five questions related to perception of peer crowds, and close social network ties to peer crowds (e.g., “Which group does your closest gay male friend (not including your partner) belong to?” “Which group are you most attracted to?” “Which group does your relationship partner belong to?”).

Several steps were involved in developing the GPCQ. First, a preliminary list of gay subcommunities was generated from the limited empirical data available in this area (i.e., Clausell & Fiske, 2005; Peacock, Eyre, Quinn, & Kegeles, 2001). Next, this list was given to an informal focus group of gay men and to researchers who are experts in the area of psychological research and sexuality. Each person commented on the list by providing written descriptions of the peer crowds, listing other crowds that may exist, and providing general feedback. Descriptions from the focus group and researchers were combined with definitions provided by Peacock et al. (2001) to create the final list of gay peer crowds with their descriptions.

Response Mode and Timing

Respondents are provided with a copy of the GPCQ and asked to read instructions carefully. For each question, respondents should check the box corresponding with their answer. The GPCQ was developed specifically for self-identified gay men. A full administration of the GPCQ takes approximately 10 minutes.

Scoring

Items on the GPCQ should be examined individually; that is, no summary scores need to be calculated. Some of the items are categorical in nature, whereas others (i.e., Items 14 and 16) are continuous, ranging from 1 (Not at allVery Disliked) to 5 (Very MuchVery Liked).

Validity

The GPCQ has been implemented and examined in a large empirical investigation (Willoughby, Lai, Doty, Mackey, & Malik, 2008). In this initial study, 340 self-identified adult gay men were recruited for a web-based study. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 72 (= 35.11, SD = 11.32).

Participants were 80% Anglo-European, 7% Hispanic/ Latino, 5% Asian or Pacific Islander, 2% African or Caribbean American/Canadian, 5% Mixed Ethnicity, and 1% Other. Participants were diverse with regard to highest level of education obtained (4% High School, 16% Some College, 37% Bachelor’s Degree, 29% Master’s Degree, 14% MD, PhD, JD or advanced degree). For all 12 peer crowds, the majority of men believe they exist. Men in the study were most certain about the existence of the following peer crowds: Drag Queens (97% yes), Bears (96% yes), Circuit Partiers (96% yes), Activists (94% yes), Twinks (93% yes), and Professionals (92% yes). Participants were less likely to endorse the existence of Granolas (22% unsure) and Goths (20% unsure).

There is initial evidence supporting the criterion validity of the GPCQ (Willoughby et al., 2008). For instance, identification with peer crowds was associated with health risk behaviors over and above the effects of age, income, and education. Greater identification with Circuit Partiers, Bears, Muscle Boys, Granolas, Goths, and Artsys was significantly associated with greater risk for at least one adverse health behavior (e.g., high-risk sexual behavior, binge drinking). For example, increased identification with the Circuit Partier peer crowd was associated with higher levels of binge drinking, club drug use, and unprotected anal sex in the past 30 days. Greater identification with Suburbans, Professionals, and Twinks, on the other hand, was associated with significantly less risk-taking behavior.

Content validity was established during the development of the GPCQ. Experts in psychological and sexuality-related research and a small sample of gay men were asked to examine the GPCQ and provide feedback about the content of the GPCQ and its representativeness in assessing gay peer crowds. Additionally, men who identified a primary peer crowd affiliation also endorsed that their friends would place them in that same crowd and noted being attracted to men from the same group. For instance, 63% of men who identified primarily as a Bear also endorsed being primarily attracted to Bears. Further, 59% of men identifying as Professionals indicated they were primarily attracted to other Professionals.

1Address correspondence to Betty Lai, Department of Psychology, University of Miami, P. O. Box 249229, Coral Gables, FL 33124; e-mail: [email protected]

Gay Peer Crowds Questionnaire

Certain groups or “peer crowds” of gay men may exist in the United States or Canada. We’d like to ask you about whether or not you

believe these different groups exist.

Section I. Existence of Peer Crowds Please check the box indicating your answerYes No Unsure

  1. Is there a group of gay men who are interested in political and social issues and promote/protest certain □ □ □

    views and policies (“Activists”)?

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Activists”? ————————————

  2. Is there a group of gay men who are hairy (e.g., beards) and have husky builds (“Bears”)? □ □ □

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Bears”? ————————————

  3. Is there a group of gay men who are very interested in arts, such as writing, poetry, galleries, and/or □ □ □

    theatre performances (“Artsy”)?

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Artsy”? ————————————

  4. Is there a group of gay men who rebel against the norm (in clothing or ideas, for example), or attempt not □ □ □

    to conform to social ideals (“Goths/Alternatives”)?

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Goths/Alternatives”? ————————————

  5. Is there a group of gay men who follow the club scene and go to circuit parties (“Circuit Partiers”)? □ □ □

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Circuit Partiers”? ————————————

  6. Is there a group of gay men who live in suburban areas, enjoy the comfort of home, and shy away from □ □ □

    the gay social scene (“Suburbans”)?

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Suburbans”? ————————————

  7. Is there a group of gay men who spend a lot of time working out and like to maintain a muscular physique □ □ □

    (“Muscle Boys”)?

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Muscle Boys”? ————————————

  8. Is there a group of gay men who are well educated, have white-collar jobs, and/or lead wealthy lifestyles □ □ □

    (“Professionals”)?

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Professionals”? ————————————

  9. Is there a group of gay men who wear leather or uniforms for social activities (“Leather Men”)? □ □ □

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Leather Men”? ————————————

  10. Is there a group of gay men who dress up and/or perform as women (“Drag Queens”)? □ □ □

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Drag Queens”? ————————————

  11. Is there a group of gay men who are concerned about the environment and nature, liberal in political □ □ □

    beliefs, and/or vegetarian, vegan, or have other dietary restrictions (“Granola”)?

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Granola”? ————————————

  12. Is there a group of gay men who are boyish-looking, with a slim or athletic figure and little body hair □ □ □

    (“Bois/Twinks”)?

    What might be other names for gay men who are “Bois/Twinks”? ————————————

  13. What other adult gay peer crowds may exist? (please list) ————————————

    Section II. Self-Identification Please check the box indicating your answer.

    14. How much do you identify with the:

    Not at All

    Somewhat

    Very Much

    1 2

    3 4

    5

    Activists

    □ □

    □ □

    Bears

    □ □

    □ □

    Artsy

    □ □

    □ □

    Goths/Alternatives

    □ □

    □ □

    Circuit Partiers

    □ □

    □ □

    Suburbans

    □ □

    □ □

    Muscle Boys

    □ □

    □ □

    Professionals

    □ □

    □ □

    Leather Men

    Drag Queens

    Granolas

    Bois/Twinks

    15. Which one of these groups, if any, do you identify with? Activists

    Bears Artsy

    Goths/Alternatives Circuit Partiers Suburbans

    Muscle Boys Professionals Leather Men Drag Queens Granolas Twinks None/Average

    (Select one that fits you best)

    Very Moderately

    Neutral Moderately Very

    16. How is your group treated by most other gay men? (Select one)

    Disliked Disliked

    □ □

    Liked Liked

    □ □ □

    17. Can your group be identified by other gay men who are not part of your group?

    Yes 

    No 

    18. Does your group have symbols (e.g., certain clothes), behaviors (e.g., hanging out at similar places), or

    values (e.g., believe in same things)?

    Yes 

    No 

    Section III. Group Affiliation Please select one group for each column.

    19. Which one of 20. Which one of 21. Which group does 22. Which 23. Which group these groups, if these groups your closest gay male group are does your any, would you would your friends friend (not including you most relationship most like to be say you are most your partner) attracted to? partner

    a part of? similar to? belong to? belong to?

    Activists □ □ □ □ □

    Bears □ □ □ □ □

    Artsy □ □ □ □ □ Goths/Alternatives □ □ □ □ □ Circuit Partiers □ □ □ □ □ Suburbans □ □ □ □ □ Muscle Boys □ □ □ □ □ Professionals □ □ □ □ □ Leather Men □ □ □ □ □ Drag Queens □ □ □ □ □ Granolas □ □ □ □ □ Twinks □ □ □ □ □ None/Average □ □ □ □ □

References

Clausell, E., & Fiske, S. T. (2005). When do the parts add up to the whole? Ambivalent stereotype content for gay male subgroups. Social Cognition, 23, 157–176.

La Greca, A. M., Prinstein, M. J., & Fetter, M. D. (2001). Adolescent peer crowd affiliation: Linkages with health-risk behaviors and close friendships. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 26, 131–143.

Mackey, E. R., & La Greca, A. M. (2006). Adolescents’ eating, exercise, and weight control behaviors: Does peer crowd affiliation play a role? Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 32, 13–23.

Peacock, B., Eyre, S. L., Quinn, S. C., & Kegeles, S. (2001). Delineating differences: Sub-communities in the San Francisco gay community. Culture, Health, and Sexuality, 3, 183–201.

Willoughby, L. B., Lai, B. S., Doty, N. D., Mackey, E., & Malik, N. M. (2008). Peer crowd affiliations of adult gay men: Linkages with health risk behaviors. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 9, 235–247.